5G: A critical technology for our Green future


Луис Неве, глобальный генеральный директор GeSI, глобальной инициативы по электронному устойчивому развитию, рассказывает почему 5G является критичной технологией для осуществления зеленого европейского перехода и достижения целей тысячелетия

You’ve been keen to make the case for telecommunications innovation helping to achieve our sustainable goals. Thinking specifically about 5G, how can next-generation networks help us to pursue our climate ambitions?

In 2019, GeSI launched its Digital with Purpose report, which presents how digital technologies can support achieving the SDGs and at the same time mitigate the current negative trends. In our report, 5G is one of the seven digital technologies identified as having a critical influence on the world, including: Artificial IntelligenceInternet of ThingsCognitive technology, CloudDigital Accessand Blockchain. In the case of 5G, our report goes into extensive detail on its role in greening the world.

The 5G share in traffic and data transmission has the potential to increase efficiency and will only continue to grow faster—this means better connectivity, higher speeds, and reduced latency that can enable things like digital twins, IoT devices and other applications to amplify efforts for a greener digital transition. While this indeed will mean the multiplication of IoT devices, there are very strong incentives for governments like the European Union and for manufacturers as well to keep these products energy-efficient.

Our report also has multiple case studies from our member companies illustrating 5G in action but what also really needs to accompany these types of technologies are political will, leadership, and stronger corporate commitments to shifting to clean energy.

Could you provide any concrete examples worldwide of 5G being employed to reduce emissions, for example?

5G needs to be accompanied by other digital technologies for its capacity to be fully realised and adequately deployed.

AT&T, for instance, utilises 5G and IoT in curbing GHG emissions using its Smart Irrigation solution, in collaboration with HydroPoint. The technology allows customers to track and manage their water usage with greater speed and precision, which uses cloud-based water management systems. The GHG emissions savings arise from the reductions in process and pumping of the water.

Taiwan Mobile, uses remote detection devices to monitor base station energy consumption, gathering real-time data without manual meter-reading, thus reducing emissions from travelling. The use of Smart Meters also allows Taiwan Mobile to accurately anticipate and predict the consumption of energy, providing valuable information for optimisation and efficiency. Taiwan Mobile reports that it has so far saved about 25.4 tonnes per year in CO2 emissions and reduced manual meter trips by 8,439.

Looking at the potential in smart cities, Verizon offers an advanced traffic management service for public agencies using 5G and IoT devices, leveraging in-ground wireless vehicle detection sensors and cloud-based data collection systems. These sensors provide real-time road traffic data and follow-up studies conducted have shown 40% fewer traffic delays, 25% less travel time, 10% fuel savings, and 22% fewer emissions.

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